Today was all about food. Oh my goodness, wonderful food and full bellies!

After cappuccino this morning we went to a wonderful home and B&B Modicarte for our cooking class. It was a warm and homey location, compete with gardens for fresh herbs and vegetables that were gathered for us to cook with. We made everything with guidance from the family. I have way too many photos of all the food and fun that we had there. I’ll try using the album feature for these (hope it works!).
We both thoroughly enjoyed cooking – and made our first real pasta – it was excellent cooked and the layered with cheese and red sauce and cheese in a timbale lined with fried eggplant that was marinated in olive oil. Sooo good. And – the chocoholic that I am I now know how to make chocolate – watch out world!

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Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love dogs. The trip has been great, but I do miss the furry members of our family. Today I got my “dog-fix”. Also at Modicarte is a sweet dog named Rocko who greeted us with tail wags and that doggie smile that we know so well. Rocko eventually checked out my shoes giving them a little sniff, then another, and then wow – big sniffs and fast tail wags – yup – he figured out that we have dogs too. I’m sure that our dogs will get wiff of our meeting!

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After eating way too much food, we managed to get back to the apartment skirting around the road closure that allowed us to have a bit more of a scenic drive.  A quick check of my online class and it was nap time for me. This being the food day we were not done yet! Amalia took us to the Don Puglisi chocolate laboratory. What another wonderful treat – and we had Amalia’s children and some of their friends with as well which made this extra special – because well there is nothing like a kid in a candy store – and switch that to a chocolate laboratory and it’s one hundred times better. The chocolate at Don Puglisi Modica Chocolate is all hand made. Just like we had learned to do earlier in the day. We got to see and learn about the cocoa pod and beans and how they make the chocolate. This type of chocolate has a grainy texture because it is not taken to a high temperature, but rather done in a bain-marie (double boiler for those who aren’t into cooking).  I have always loved this type of texture and reminds me of chocolate fudge we made when I was a kid. We got to taste a few things there including candied orange peel dipped in chocolate – MMmmmm. After the laboratory we went into town to their chocolate shop and tasted even more chocolate, milk of the almond, and some liqueurs as well. Added chocolate bars and more bottles to growing inventory to bring home!

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It’s too bad that we don’t know much of the family history because this is where we may have found some of Charlie’s family. If we had known what his grandfather had done for a living there would have been a chance to track family down.

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